Small business owners and personal users alike are replacing desktop and laptop computers with the lower cost option of tablets.

While tablet computers are ideal for tasks such as emailing, file saving, playing games, and social networking, printing photos can be more challenging. Most tablets do not come with a standard printing feature, while those that do tend to be aimed toward a specific device. The smaller screen doesn’t help.

Similarly, printers and adapters that accept content directly from a tablet are rarely the best option, as they are often expensive and take time to set up. Printing photos from a tablet does not have to be, and in fact should not be, a challenge. There are three main ways you can choose from to make printing easier. Read on about these Ink Tech options to find out the pros and cons of each and decide what would best suit your needs.

Tablet Apps
You can find tablet printing apps in both the iTunes store and the Android Market that offer a range of photo and document printing services. These apps range from quite costly options, such as PrintBureau for iPad ($19.99), to those that are completely free, like PrintDirect, plus a large number at mid-range prices.

Whatever you choose, it is important to read customer reviews to ensure the product will be easy to use and convenient for you. You should also check specifications and instructions to ensure the app is compatible with your type of printer. If you are using a wireless printer, choose an app that is able to search for the device to make printing very quick and easy.

Using apps for a printer with a USB connection is a little more complicated than with a wireless printer. You will need to install a printing utility on a desktop or laptop computer and connect your tablet to the printer software on this computer. Therefore, this is not a suitable option for companies that are trying to turn away from classic computers nor users who only have access to a tablet computer. It can also be difficult to get the device to communicate with the printer when printing from a desktop computer and a print utility.

The greatest advantage of mobile printing apps is that most allow you to print directly from an application built in to your tablet, such as a word processing app, or from your email. You can also benefit from the additional services contained in these applications including file organization and cloud storage services.

Google Cloud Print
A strong competitor to apps is Google Cloud Print. This service allows you to access a printer from any web, desktop, or mobile app enabled with Google Cloud Print. The service can be used with both classic and Cloud-ready printers.

While there are currently not many Cloud ready printers on the market, this looks to be a growing option in the near future. The service can also be used by standard printers when they are plugged into a computer connected to the Internet, but, once again, this requires users to have an additional desktop or laptop computer connected to the printer.

The greatest advantage of Google Cloud Print is its ease of use and flexibility; for instance, you can print photos using numerous printers without the need to install a variety of apps and drivers on your tablet and desktop or laptop computers. In addition, Google Cloud Print has the useful function of holding jobs in line if the printer or computer running the service is turned off and resumes the task as soon as the device is switched on.

Bluetooth Wireless Connection
Almost all tablets have built-in Bluetooth wireless capabilities making Bluetooth a viable option for printing photos. If you have a Bluetooth enabled printer, you can immediately pair the device with your tablet, provided everything is configured correctly. Even if your printer is not Bluetooth enabled, you can purchase a Bluetooth adapter for a very reasonable price.

Connecting a a tablet and printer through Bluetooth never requires a go-between device and works in exactly the same way as with a regular computer and printer. Once you have established the connection, it is very fast and direct every time. You also have no chance of experiencing the problems that are often associated with apps.

There are only two downfalls with printing using Bluetooth. The first is that you can only print when your tablet and printer are at a close distance from each another. The second is that you have only a few options in terms of number of copies, collation, and other features. Other than these issues, it is a very convenient and easy way to print when you do not have access to a computer other than your tablet.

These three options provide you with much better ways to print photos from your tablet than the time consuming process of emailing the pictures to yourself and printing from another computer. Apps, Google Cloud Print, and Bluetooth all provide you with permanent options to print photos on a regular basis without you needing to go through a time consuming set-up process every time.